Experiencing Disco, Hip Hop, House, Techno, Drum 'n Bass and Garage, "Discographies" takes a revealing look at the transatlantic dance scene of the last twenty-five years. Tracing the history of ideas about music and dance in Western culture and the ways in which dance music is produced and received, the authors assess the importance and relevance of dance culture in the 1990s and beyond.
The book considers both the problems posed by contemporary dance culture for various forms of writing, academic and cultural, and their origins in the long history of opposition to music as a source of sensory pleasure. The authors offer a framework for understanding the bodily nature of musical experience using a range of theorists including Derrida, Irigaray and Judith Butler, and consider the limits placed on contemporary dance culture as exemplary of the modern regulation of social space.
Discussing such issues as technology, club space, drugs, the musical body, gender, sexuality, and pleasure, "Discographies" explores the ecstatic experiences at the heart of contemporary dance culture. It suggests why politicians and agencies as diverse as the independent music press and public broadcasting are so hostile to this cultural phenomenon. "Discographies" breaks new ground in considering important cultural phenomena not only in terms of a politics of identity, but a politics of experience.
"In this fascinating study of dance music's formal, aesthetic and political properties, Jeremy Gilbert and Ewan Pearson team up to provide an authentic account of dance music. This is essential reading for anyone who considers dance music their lifestyle of choice."
"Gilbert and Pearson provide a fascinating, complex, and well-written analysis...the chapters on gender and sexuality and on technology are superb...it is sophisticated and important. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."
-"Choice, April 2000
"This is a lucid, informative, engagingly written and stimulating work. It admirably covers a variety of different theoretical issues and takes off from dance to raise all sorts of questions about the treatment of music in cultural studies."
-Simon Frith, University of Stirling
..."contemporary, committed and compelling."
-Will Straw, McGill University